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Intrinsic Motivation in the Workplace: Factors & Examples

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Shawn Grimsley

Intrinsic motivation is an essential management concept. In this lesson, you'll learn what intrinsic motivation is and some of its key concepts, illustrated by an example. A short quiz will follow the lesson.

We also recommend watching Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in Education: Definition & Examples and Using Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation to Enhance Learning

Why Is It Important?

Intrinsic motivation is an important means of motivating employees. It is often more effective than extrinsic motivation, which is often based upon rewards and punishments. Knowing how to effectively use intrinsic motivation will help make your employees more effective and increase their job satisfaction at the same time.

Definition

Intrinsic motivation occurs when a person finds a task interesting and derives satisfaction from performing it. The motivation comes from within you rather than being imposed upon you by external forces such as rewards or punishments.

Key Conceptual Factors

Psychologists argue you can only be completely effective if you feel autonomous and competent. In other words, you will only be intrinsically motivated if you feel you are competent at the task and have autonomy, or control, over it. A third component necessary for intrinsic motivation is having satisfying relationships with others at work.

Researchers have found the following techniques can help establish intrinsic motivation:

  • acknowledging employee perspectives
  • offering choices
  • encouraging initiative
  • giving meaningful feedback

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